Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have averted what would have been a deadly attack on Zamfarawa community in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
One of the bandits was killed, while several others escaped with gunshot wounds as troops engaged the criminals.
According to a statement by the Director Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko, the bandits invaded the village and rustled several cows.
The statement added that, “on 5 August 2020, troops deployed in Batsari LGA of Katsina State foiled a coordinated bandits attack on residents of Zamfarawa Kagara village in the State. The bandits invaded the village and stole several cows but while attempting to escape with them, troops arrived the vicinity and engaged the bandits, neutralized one, while others escaped with gunshot wounds. All the rustled cows were successfully recovered and handed to their rightful owners.
“Similarly, On 6 August 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Dangulbi arrested a suspected bandit informant named Rabiu Salisu, the suspect was arrested following credible information on his nefarious activities with bandits operating in the area. Also, troops deployed at the Forward Operations Base Bagega arrested two bandits’ collaborators named Sani Sani and Sani Abubakar who were reported to be specialists in selling of bandits’ stolen cows and other items.
“They were arrested while butchering a cow for sale and have since confessed to collecting it from the bandits during interrogation.”
The statement continued that, “furthermore, troops recovered 17 cows from suspected cattle rustlers at Dogon Ruwa village. The cows were recovered from suspected bandits who abandon them and fled as Troops storm the village following information of their activities from reliable sources.
“In another development, troops on fighting patrol arrested a suspected bandit’s informant and logistics supplier named Saifullahi Adamu at Garin Dodo village in Katsina State, the suspect was arrested following credible information about his elicit engagements with suspected bandits.
“His wife Mrs. Hauwa Abubakar also alleged that the suspect forcefully married her, whereas bandits whom her husband associates with usually accuse her of reporting their activities to security agencies thereby subjecting her to several abuses. Mrs. Hauwa was rescued from her husband and has been handed over to the Katsina State Government while the suspect is in own custody for further interrogation.”
It also informed that, “on the 7 August 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Anka while on patrol arrested 2 suspected bandits’ couriers named Abdulrazi and Ismaila at Malamawa village in Anka LGA of Zamfara State in connection with butchering and selling of stolen cows. Furthermore, troops arrested another 3 suspected bandits’ couriers named Hassan Mallam, Kabiru Ahmadu and Surajo Muhammadu of Sabon Birni and Munhaye villages at Pasawa-Magami Road of Zamfara State. All the suspects are presently undergoing investigation.
“Additionally, on the 7 August 2020 troops deployed at Tsafe LGA of Zamfara State responded to information on the activities of cattle rustlers and quickly mobilized to the area. The criminals abandoned their loot on sensing approaching troops who recovered 8 cattles in the process which were immediately handed over to their rightful owners.
“Also, same day troops arrested a suspected bandit named Sabiu Sani. Investigations revealed that suspect was previously arrested by vigilante group but escaped from custody. In another operation following a tip-off troops deployed in Faskari equally arrested 5 suspected bandits in a blue Hyundai car with registration number Katsina 107 BAK. The suspects are presently undergoing interrogation.
“Furthermore, on 8 August 2020, troops arrested one suspected cattle rustler named Sallahu Rabiu at Natsinta Village with 3 rustled cows. Suspect confessed to have been operating with a gang of cattle rustlers. Efforts are ongoing to apprehend other members of his gang. Also, troops deployed at Wagini arrested a suspected bandit name Usman Suleiman.
“The suspect was apprehended after being sighted by the eagle eyed troops while trying to sneak into the village from the forest in search of food. He admitted to be part of a bandit group terrorizing Batsari general area.
“On 9 August 2020, troops deployed at Mara arrested 2 suspected bandits named Jamilu Mani and Aminu Lawal along Danmusa – Runka Road, suspected were identified to be notorious bandits terrorizing the area. In the same vain, troops deployed at Bingi while on patrol arrested a suspected bandit and impostor named Sani Saidu wearing a police uniform with the name tag bearing “James Oname”.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that James Oname a Police Sergeant was killed in 2015 by bandits at Tunga Rakumi in Maru LGA of Zamfara State. The suspect is undergoing further interrogation. Relatedly, same day troops on clearance patrol destroyed 8 major bandits’ camps owned by notorious bandits’ leader known as Abu-Radde at Lebi Fulani Areas in Batsari LGA of Katsina. Troops during the operation recovered 4 Dane guns and other items.
“In another development, On 10 August 2020, troops deployed at Yarsanta while on routine patrol intercepted a kidnapped escapee named Auwal Yusuf wandering aimlessly along Yarsanta-Kabuge general area. The victim was promptly rescued by the troops and taken to safety. Similarly troops on patrol encountered suspected bandits with rustled cows along Bagega – Sabon Birni, bandits opened fire on sighting the troops but fled into the bushes as troops responded with superior firepower. During exploitation, troops found traces of blood along bandits escape route while 12 cows were recovered by the troops.
“Also, on 11 August 2020, troops at Forward Operation Base Yar Gamji in Batsari while conducting farm patrol arrested a suspected bandit named Ibrahim Musa. During preliminary interrogation, the suspect confessed to be on a spy mission and a member of a bandit group led by one criminal named Danladi Dahiru hiding in Dumburum forest. Same day, troops arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Haliru along Batsari – Sawara Road following a diligent tracking by the troops. Suspect was identified to be a notorious bandit who escaped from vigilante custody during a previous arrest.
“Consequently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and their resilience. He urges them not to rest on their oars. He further assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone.”